On my last trip, I traveled to Cubati to visit the four Christians living in a city of about 6,000. Last time I visited, Afonso and Vania were spreading the seed of the Gospel through teaching members of denominations how to worship and live Christian lives. Some of the denominations began practicing things like taking the Lord's Supper every Sunday and studying the Bible more with their members. Their examples of Christian living seem to be affecting the city in a small way, now.
This weekend, I got out of the car, walked into Afonso and Vania's house and was met with two 16 year old girls. Both began living with boys or men, I don't know which, when they were 14. One, Carol has already separated from her boyfriend. The other, Jessica, is still living with her boyfriend. Anyway, they have had Bible questions for a long time and no one they asked had been able to answer them. So Vania presented them to me and told them to fire away with their questions. I began answering them by showing them in Bible what God says. They seem to really enjoy it and more importantly understand. The next day I studied with them again. I showed them both that they were dead spiritually. They were surprised and said they had no idea that was their state. They then asked, "So what do we do?" I explained to them that they needed to get rid of their sin, and the only way that was possible was being baptized into Christ. Don't get excited – they were not baptized, but they went home thinking about it. I guess it was too much of a change for them in such a short time, but they still want to study, and Afonso and Vania can take it from there.
I also studied with an older lady who is going through all sorts of problems and needs help in a lot of ways. We studied together with the church present. It went well, but her mind is on her other problems for now.
I gave a ride to an older gentleman to a city close by on my way home. I admit, I really didn't want to, but I stopped and picked him up anyway. I began talking to him, a very pleasant person to talk with. I asked him, "If you could change any one thing in your life, what would you change?" He said, "I would go to church." I said, "Really!? That would be the one thing you would change, out of everything else?" He said, "Yes." I curiously asked, "Why?" He just didn't seem like the person that would give that kind of answer. He said, "Because everything good happens when you're a believer." I asked, "So why don't you start?" He said, "When God calls me, I'll go, right then," his answer meaning, "I don't want to give up the way I'm living now, but when God makes me give it all up by changing my heart, and I don't have to put forth any effort at all, then I'll change." Knowing what he meant by his answer, I asked, "What if God never calls?" He said, "Oh, He will." I asked, "If Jesus came back today would you go to heaven or hell?" He said, very quickly, "Heaven!" I asked, "How?" He said, "I would repent." I said to him, "You're not making any sense. You say, the one thing in your life you would change, if you could, would be to go to church. You say the reason you would be a believer is because God blesses believers with many good things. You say, you want to go to heaven, but yet you are waiting for God to call you while you live a life you know doesn't please God. Does that make sense to you?" He said, "No, but when God calls me I will change." I gave up, and we had arrived at his destination. He is not alone in his thought process and/or destination when Jesus returns.
- that God will touch Jessica and Carol's hearts to obey him and be saved from sin;
- that God will continue to give strength, energy and faithfulness to His church in Cubati;
- that God will use us to help others feel God calling them.
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